Barao puts 28-fight unbeaten streak on line
A former bantamweight title challenger will meet an opponent many believe could soon challenge for the belt at UFC 143 in February.
Scott Jorgensen, who has won two straight since losing to 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz, will meet Renan Barao, who has not lost since the first fight of his career – going 28 straight without a loss. The UFC announced the fight overnight.
Jorgensen (13-4, 2-0 UFC) has won both his UFC bouts since coming over from the WEC in the merger. The former Boise State wrestler went 7-3 in the WEC, including a stretch of five straight wins that got him a shot at Cruz at WEC 53, the promotion’s final show. But he lost by unanimous decision with the champ winning all five rounds. In the UFC, Jorgensen scored a first-round knockout of Ken Stone at the TUF 13 Finale in June, then beat Jeff Curran by unanimous decision at UFC 137.
Barao (27-1, 1 NC, 2-0 UFC) submitted Brad Pickett with a rear naked choke at UFC 138, winning Fight of the Night honors in the process. Before that, he won his UFC debut against Cole Escovedo at UFC 130 by unanimous decision. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt went 2-0 in the WEC, both by submission, before coming to the UFC in the merger. The first 25 fights of Barao’s career came in his native Brazil, where he went 23-1 with one no contest. His only loss came in his pro debut in April 2005.
UFC 143 takes place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main event was scheduled to be a welterweight title fight between champion Georges St-Pierre and former Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz. But a blown ACL has shut St-Pierre down for what doctors will be 10 months. The UFC on Wednesday announced a new main event of Diaz vs. Carlos Condit for the interim title.